India news April 27, 2011

Duncan Fletcher named India coach

ESPNcricinfo staff

Duncan Fletcher, the former England coach and Zimbabwe captain, has been appointed India's coach, ending weeks of speculation over who would succeed Gary Kirsten. The BCCI announced the decision to give Fletcher a two-year contract after a Working Committee meeting in Mumbai on Wednesday. Eric Simons' tenure as the team's bowling coach was also extended.

Fletcher, though, is unlikely to join India for the tour of the West Indies in June. "The contract with Fletcher is for two years," N Srinivasan, the BCCI secretary, said. "He may not join the team in the West Indies as he has some prior commitments.

"After a lot of thought and consultation, the BCCI president and BCCI secretary placed Fletcher's name before the Working Committee, which the Committee ratified," Rajiv Shukla, the BCCI vice-president, said, adding that the terms and conditions of Fletcher's appointment would be the same as that of Kirsten's.

It has been reliably learnt that Kirsten played an important hand in recommending Fletcher for the job. Also the board consulted some of the senior India players, including captain MS Dhoni, before finalising Fletcher's appointment.

Fletcher, 62, was in charge of England when they beat Australia in 2005 to regain the Ashes for the first time since 1986-87, and was credited with turning around England's fortunes in Tests during his eight-year stint, first with Nasser Hussain and then with Michael Vaughan.

He was England's first foreign coach and took over in 1999. He oversaw Test series wins in Sri Lanka and Pakistan, though Australia thrashed England 4-1 in the Ashes in 2001. Later, with Vaughan, he helped England win their first Test series in South Africa post apartheid and the pair played a critical role in moulding a team that was to win the Ashes in 2005.

England won 42 and lost 30 Tests with Fletcher in charge but their ODI form wasn't as good - winning 75 and losing 82. His tenure reached its lowest ebb during a 0-5 Ashes drubbing in Australia in 2006-07 and a disappointing World Cup campaign, after which he stepped down. One of Fletcher's problems during his England reign was a tetchy relationship with the media, something which Vaughan felt could be a hindrance in his India job as well. "Duncan will work well with all the talent," Vaughan said on Twitter. "His biggest challenge will come from the media ... he has never really understood how it works."

After giving up the England job, Fletcher took up several short-term international assignments. He joined South Africa as a batting consultant in 2008, a role he returned to for the 2011 World Cup, and was in a similar position with New Zealand on their tour of India last year.

England were officially ranked the worst Test team when he took over as their coach, and he will now take charge of a team that won the World Cup earlier this month and is currently top of the Test rankings.

One of the first coaching jobs Fletcher took up was at the University of Cape Town, where Kirsten was part of the team. The pair once again were together at Western Province.

In 1994, Fletcher applied for his first high-profile job - the head coach of South Africa. He was one of the three candidates interviewed. His competitors were Eddie Barlow and Bob Woolmer. Eventually the three-man panel comprising Peter Pollock, Raymond White and Ali Bacher agreed on Woolmer, who stayed in the job till 1999. Fletcher, meanwhile, operated as South Africa A coach for a while before taking up the England assignment.

According to Bacher, Fletcher's style of coaching draws a lot from his playing days."Hardworking, disciplined, very professionally driven and played to his utmost potential even if he was not blessed with extraordinary talent," Bacher said. "He brings the same characteristics to his coaching."

Fletcher has also been known to work on an individual basis with Graeme Smith and Jacques Kallis.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Ajay on April 30, 2011, 2:11 GMT

    @kiwirocker People like u can whine for the next four years but India are the champs. About the coach , according to me he is more of a mentor than a coach. If u have a captain like dhoni and a player like Sachin in the team all u need is a mentor.

  • Ajay on April 30, 2011, 2:06 GMT

    @kiwirocker Indian pitches are the most difficult pitches for a bowler . So as Indian bowlers have won the WC on such pitches , they will in fact get more assistance from pitches in Aus and Nz.

  • Bobby on April 29, 2011, 12:54 GMT

    cric_fanatics - Relax buddy. Its just a game. Just a correction, Pakistan has beaten more India in India's test history and same applies for ODI's. 1992 world cup format was the best and everyone knows that. Hindh88- Anyone can won world cup on dodgy 65 grounds- dodgy DRS and with unbiased backing from ICC. It is the respect that matters. Indian bowling might work on Indian pitches but next world cup is in my backyard, New Zealand. Trust me, current Indian bowling including an average Zahreer khan( 30+ average with ball) will not stand a chance. Accordingly, India needed a coach who could develop their bowling and Duncan is a wrong choice. Time will prove!

  • Dummy4 on April 29, 2011, 7:08 GMT

    man indian ppl r so confusing. when kirsten was appointed many ppl had negative reactions. let we ppl c his performance 1st then run our big mouth. one thing i like about dhonis captaincy was he doesnt think abt fans. he said in a post match presentation in a wc against sa 'we dont play 4 these ppl we play 4 team india. similarly if fletcher ignore the talks of ppl and media and if he coaches well he ll succeed as he s experienced.

  • Dummy4 on April 29, 2011, 5:52 GMT

    choosing a coach should be more democratic, the least BCCI could do is to display the options that they have along with the stats to the public so that the people can know what prevailed BCCI in making what ever decision they made.

  • Ajay on April 29, 2011, 5:23 GMT

    Regarding iNdian bowling. We dont care whether it is a good unit or bad unit now as they have won the WC with this same bowling unit. what have SA, pak ,aus have done in the WC inspite of having "better" bowling than india. India from 2008 have won CB series in aus , Asia cup and WC with this same bowling so who cares whether it is is bad or good?.

  • Ajay on April 29, 2011, 4:09 GMT

    Kiwirocker did not have anything to comment bad against India coz India were beating one team after the other in the WC and India also won the WC. so now he comes along and tries to say some silly thing on coach selection and has made a fool of himself. P.S. - India won the WC 2011 with this so called bad bowling attack.

  • avinash on April 29, 2011, 2:19 GMT

    @Andyzaltzmanshair...i would rather pray for guys who fold out for 70 odd on every given opportunity....

  • avinash on April 29, 2011, 2:14 GMT

    @Andyzaltzmanshair...Maybe you watch a different game..India Knocked auss out of WC..not pak..Pak were pathetic against india...@kiwirocker..first achieve what india has done..pak got lucky in 92 because of d/l..else they have nothing to good as bangladesh..

  • HARSH on April 28, 2011, 19:29 GMT

    what a tragedy for Indian Cricket.

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